Posts Tagged ‘plants’

Plants always have a way of bringing me inspiration, especially during the transition from the end of winter to the beginning of spring.  The first day of spring is this Friday, which brings me great joy!  I breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that the days are getting longer and the warm weather is soon to arrive. 

I look forward to the daffodils and tulips that will soon bloom.  Today in the garden at work, these amazing yellowish hellebores were planted with purple pansies and tulips.  Hellebores are absolutely one of my favorite flowers.  They are unique, especially because they bloom at the end of winter, early spring.  Their flowers can really vary, the colors, the mottled spots on the petals, the way they hang from the stem.  Some hang down with the face of the flower not noticed unless you pick it up. Others bloom upright and stare you in the face.  They hold a special place in my heart as they signify the transition from winter to spring, a time of renewal, a time of change. 

Hellebores are amazing in the ground, in a partially shaded environment with moist, organic soil.  They are also amazing in containers.  Buy them in a nursery in late winter, early spring and plant them in containers on your patio as a stand alone plant and you will get the most dramatic effect. 

There are hundreds of hellebore hybrids, colors ranging from plums to whites to yellows to purples.  There are hellebores with spots on them and even with ruffled petals, as you can see from the picture below.  Mixed together, hellebores create a beautiful display.  They are certainly a special flower and have even inspired me to paint. 


photo cited:  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cc/Hellebore_flowers.jpg

I ordered some Hellebores for my new garden and am excited to plant them next week.  They are a must-have in every garden.  I urge you to buy some for your garden. They will surely bring inspiration to you as well.  Maybe they will inspire you to start a garden or maybe they will inspire you to paint.  Or maybe they will inspire you to take a moment to appreciate their beauty, the beauty of nature, the beauty in a flower.  The simple things in life always seem to inspire me.  Simple things teach me beautiful life lessons.  And plants continue to inspire me, as they always have….and they always will………


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Staring into my dendrobium orchid, I immediately feel at ease.  Flowers always have a way of doing that to me.  What can I say?  I love them.  They can make me calm in the midst of a storm.  I can be in the middle of a hurricane and I take one look at that flower, and peace just comes my way.  Which is just one of the reasons why I have a sick passion for orchids. 

I am constantly buying orchids.  I am constantly buying plants.  Am I a plant fanatic?  Yes!!!  I freaking LOVE them!!  There is something amazing about orchids.  I have always been obsessed with them.  I dream of having an orchid nursery one day, a huge greenhouse full of orchids. I dream of the smell of the greenhouse, that earthy soil smell, the humid air, the flowers dancing from the breeze of the fans.  That greenhouse smell is one of a kind.  I will have this one day.  I know I will.  It is my destiny. 

One of the most beautiful things in this world are orchids.  There are so many species, so many cultivars.  Their diversity is certainly one to appreciate.  There are chocolate orchids, terrestrial orchids, epiphytic orchids (grow on tree branches and bark of trees-very cool stuff indeed), native orchids, dendrobiums, paphiopedilums, cattleyas-the most amazingly fragrant of all orchids, miltonias, phalaenopsis, and the list could really go on and on. 

I have an amazing appreciation for every orchid out there, especially the ones that are difficult to get to re-bloom.  Some require certain temperatures and exact environmental conditions.  Some of these orchids are tropical or native orchids.  These types can only re-bloom in greenhouses under certain conditions.  But there are species which you can get to re-bloom in your own home. 

This leads me to the second reason I have this sick passion for orchids.  Getting them to re-bloom can be one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences EVER.   Phalaenopsis are probably one of the easiest to re-bloom indoors.  Usually, it can take up to a year to get a new flower spike after the orchid has already flowered.  Most people never have the patience to wait and end up throwing them away, which actually makes me sad.  Please people, if you are going to throw away an orchid, please, call me.  I will save it!!!  I have actually thought of starting a business that recycles orchids that people throw away.  That would be a viable business idea.  Perhaps I will embark on that adventure in the future.  So many plants to save, so little time!! 

My passion for orchids runs deep.  Orchids have always intrigued me, wrapped around my mind, embraced my spirit.  They have taught me patience.  My passion for orchids exists now.  My dream of having a greenhouse filled with orchids will come to fruition.  I see it in my future.  I dream of it today, as I stare at my orchid.  I dream of it as I smell its’ sweet fragrance.  I dream of it as I close my eyes and awaken to my passion, the passion which lies inside my heart, my head….

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Photo cited:  http://downrightcurious.com/photos/images/20080517220334_g9_1088.jpg


When the fiddlehead of a fern emerges from the ground, it is a sight to be savored.  The beauty of the first growth of a fern, the spiral form, the abstract representation of what is to follow.  It is art in my eyes.  It makes me want to break out my sketching pencils and draw.  The golden mean proportion screams in your face as the fiddleheads grow into earthy green fronds. 

Fiddleheads are edible, however, you must make sure that you are eating the correct fern species as some may be a bit toxic and leave you nauseous and dizzy.  The safest fiddleheads to eat are actually from the Ostrich Fern (Matteucia struthiopteris).  This fern is the safest to eat but people say to eat it in small quantites.  The fiddlehead must be harvested when very young, about 10″ above the ground. The taste resembles asparagus.  It is best to cook them and not eat them raw.   I love them sauteed with some olive oil and garlic. 

Check out this website on some other ways to harvest and prepare fiddleheads.  http://www.umext.maine.edu/onlinepubs/htmpubs/4198.htm

The  native habitat of Ostrich fern (Matteucia struthiopteris) is in a woodland environment with moist soil and dappled sun.  Its’ vase shaped habit and feathery fronds resemble ostrich feathers, hence the name.  It can also be seen growing in dense clusters along streams, ponds and rivers. In its native habitat with optimal conditions, ostrich fern can grow to be 6′ tall. Usually in cultivation, it will grow to 2-3′.  Plant this fern in a woodland garden where it can naturalize. 

The texture of a fern in the garden, the form, the color, can bring a sense of beauty to the garden.  There is something unique about the texture of ferns, especially when they grow in masses.  I picture them growing under a grove of trees, blanketing the ground, earthy tones of green. 



Photo cited:  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5a/Matteuccia_struthiopteris.jpg

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